Author: Georgia Bell
Series: All Good Things, book #1
Publication Date: November 2, 2013
Source: free via Amazon Prime/Kindle Lending Library
After her father dies, Rachel realizes she is scared and stuck. Scared of heights, of cars, of disasters harming the people she loves. Stuck in a life that is getting smaller by the minute. Stuck with a secret she has kept all her life: Someone has been watching over her since birth. Someone who tends to show up when she needs him the most. Someone she believes is her guardian angel.
Eaden is a 1,500-year-old immortal who wants to die. Drained by a life stretched too thin, he has requested his final reward – a mortal sacrifice bred specifically to bring him death. But something went wrong. Rachel’s ability to grant death has mutated in ways that threaten to upset the uneasy alliance between mortals and immortals. And utterly beguiled, Eaden discovers that although Rachel is the key to his death, because of her, he no longer wants to die. And he will do anything to protect her.
Swept into a world of legends, caught between the warring political factions of immortals, and carrying the future of mortal kind in her flesh and bone, Rachel must risk everything to save her world and the man she loves.
I think I was pitched this book, either through a Goodreads friend request or email or something, but I'm being lazy and don't feel like looking it up. Either way, I didn't acknowledge the request because that summary wasn't the best and I already had enough on my plate. But I saw an excerpt on another blog that caught my attention, and so I thought I'd give it a go anyway. I noticed that the book was available in the Kindle Lending Library for Amazon Prime members, so rather than requesting from the author after however long it had been, I went ahead and borrowed it. Also, if I'm being honest, it's easier for me to honestly review a book -- no holds barred -- when I didn't receive it directly from the author.
Fair or not, I instinctually picture another sparkly immortal whenever mention is made of a really old young guy who falls for a girl who's pretty much shut herself away from the world. Eaden does tend to lurk and follows Rachel around for the first quarter of the novel, but it's not so bad as all that in this story. Though it still kind of squicks me out to think of a guy with all of this worldly experience and hundreds of years under his belt falling for -- and potentially bedding -- a virgin girl who can't possibly fathom what she's just gotten herself into. The romance suffers from a severe case of insta-love, at least on Rachel's side; he's been watching her since she was in the womb. There's a reason for that, and when it all comes out, it's less creepy than it sounds, but until I figured out what was going on, I still found it all a little squicky.
Honestly, when I started this one, I thought it was going to focus on angels, but that is far from what Eaden actually is. He may have acted as Rachel's guardian angel more than once, but that's because he has a vested interest in her well-being. Of course, she doesn't discover exactly why until a ways down the road, and even then, she easily forgives him his well-intentioned deception. Rachel's character is kind of par for the course for a paranormal romance, but she didn't irritate me entirely like others have in the past. Through constant encouragement from Eaden, she grows some lady balls and actually starts to live a little. Because of that, I can overlook some of her other transgressions.
“There was something about the possession of a book that was important to me. Owning it gave me proprietary rights on the story. It meant that I could read as quickly or as slowly as I liked. No expectations, no deadlines, no proscriptions on bent spines or crumpled pages. I was not gentle on my books. I read while I ate, I read in the bathtub. At night, I rolled over on top of my books that had fallen between the covers as I dozed. For me, the worn pages and tattered covers were a sign of devotion. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, the books I read were only real when they were loved. And I understood that love was not always gentle.”I was actually a little impressed with the writing, though the book could have used another round of editing. (There was nothing major that impeded my comprehension of the story, but there were just some general errors that needed tidying up.) Still, considering the supposed subject matter and the insta-love, this book surprised me. As did the decidedly unexpected turn the second half of the book took. One second I was reading a paranormal romance focused on an immortal record keeper, and the next, they're gallivanting off to Scotland, meeting up with witches and a secret council, and suddenly all of history has been rewritten. Honestly, it almost felt like I was reading a different book for the second half of Unbound.
I was definitely entertained by this book, if not always for the right reasons. I liked the theme of sacrifice that ran throughout the novel and how it was incorporated into the ending and especially the fact that it wasn't the lovelorn immortal who had to pay the ultimate price, as per usual. And although this is the first book in a planned series, I'm iffy as to whether I'll continue it simply because I like the way things were tied up at the end of this first book and I already have enough series to keep track of. But who's to say I won't see another excerpt from the sequel that convinces me yet again that I need to read it?
About the author:
Georgia Bell was raised on a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy, courtesy of her father, a man who loved his family, fishing, scotch, and science (although not necessarily in that order). Georgia is an avid reader of young adult fiction, and a lover of good wine, music, children, and cats (although not necessarily in that order).
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